“Great job pitching yesterday”

baseballThe bleachers were filled with cottage staff, teachers, pediatricians, social workers, and recreation staff—everyone was there. It was opening day of Unit Softball, CV’s own version of the World Series. Four teams of staff and teens compete on Wednesday nights all summer long for bragging rights and a pizza party.

It’s loud, a bit disorganized, and one of the best signs of spring at CV. The best part is not the game itself, but rather the interactions it fosters between staff and kids. When a shy teen walked in to meet with his psychologist last week, he was greeted by the doctor, “Great job pitching yesterday.” The young man softened, smiled and began to talk.

Philip never wanted to participate in sports, but after some extra attention by a recreation staff member on his batting skills, he now comes to recreation whenever he can. He’s proud of his excellent batting average, but he shows up each Wednesday because of the special relationship he now has with the staff member.

When Coach Tim’s amplified voice announces “Batter up!” everyone knows it’s time to wrap up for the day, walk away from their desks, and head out onto the field. Our work is about relationships—and Unit Softball is a home run.

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